Community Outreach · Tissue Donation
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) implemented the Problem Oriented
Public Safety (POPS) Tissue Donation project
statewide November 1, 2003, partnering with the local donation programs.
This project has and will continue to provide tissue donation options
to families that have lost a loved one in a fatal traffic collision.
Prior to this project, families had not been provided with the option
of donation if the death happened outside the hospital.
Introduction: How It Works
Today, troopers on the scene of a fatality collision relay the same basic information they always do to the communications officer, including the number of deaths, gender, and approximate age of those involved if known. The information is then shared with the donor referral line, which also handles hospital deaths, and is passed to the Tissue Center.
At that point, donation coordinators contact the coroner or medical examiner in the local jurisdiction to find out whether the deceased is eligible to donate. If so, Tissue Center donation coordinators wait until after the family has been notified of the death and then place a call.
Tissue Project Partners
Northwest Tissue Services - A nonprofit, community-sponsored tissue bank established to provide high-quality human tissue for transplant to patients in the Northwest. The program depends on contributions made by generous people who have consented to donation after the death of a family member. Bone, tendons, skin grafts, veins and heart valves can significantly improve the quality of life for transplant recipients by preventing amputation, restoring mobility, relieving pain and sometimes saving lives.
The Tissue Center, a department of Puget Sound Blood Center, was established in 1988 through agreements with the University of Washington Department of Orthopedics and the Northwest Kidney Center.
SightLife - For nearly forty years it has been known as the Northwest Lions Eye Bank. But as their role and function in the world of sight restoration has changed and increased, they realized the necessity of a new name - one reflecting both their scope as a global organization and their ambition to restore sight and the resulting freedom of life to both the United States and the rest of the world.Back to Top
In the first year of the program, a referral call was placed on 94% of the Washington State Patrol fatal traffic collisions responses. Detective Stockwell followed up with Communications in all cases where a referral call was not placed to the donor referral line.
The primary reason fatality victims did not become donors, was due to the donation agency being informed that the next-of-kin had not been notified of the death. In looking into this further there continues to be several cases where the WSP notified the next-of-kin, but the Medical Examiner/Coroner was not aware that the notification had been made.
Facts and Statistics:
Patient & Donor Stories
In 2003 the Northwest Tissue Service’s partnership began with the Washington State Patrol and SightLife. Since that time there have been 51 tissue donors, which has provided more than 1275 tissues for transplant. We would like to share with you some of the many heartfelt stories relating to Tissue Donation and how the lives of both donor families and recipients were changed through eye and tissue donation.
Ami Abad & Mat Martin - Ami Abad’s close family acted on her wish to be a donor.
Cassandra Burris - Cassandra was just six when she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in her right femur.
Chris Nice & Georgia Rayson - Chris Nice loved people, and ultimately, helped many.
Holly Coldsnow - "Now I know personally what a miracle it is to be given the Gift of Sight."
Travis Olesen - Travis Olesen's gifts have benefited 27 patients so far.
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